The world is changing, and the change is being fueled by access to information via mobile apps at an unprecedented level. This access is changing how retailers and distributors approach eCommerce with mobile ordering apps in the business world.It is often underestimated how much the process of B2b eCommerce disrupted long standing order entry and procurement practices.
In the business-to-consumer retail industry, these changes are well documented with customer shopping habits changing drastically because of the introduction of mobile ordering apps in the last 10 years. Business-to-consumer commerce is – a market which is expected to be worth over US$4.8 trillion by 2021 – is now making the same transformation. In many of the ways the change in sales operations due to mobile ordering apps will affect supply chain organizations in obvious ways. However, some are less than intuitive, and these are the kinds of things that will ultimately decide the winners from the losers in this new way of doing business.
We can help with your mobile ordering apps
The changing face of the B2b buyer
The B2B eCommerce purchase process is not considered an emotional purchase it is a task to be done in order to get business moving. As such, it is vital that companies who engage in B2b sales are aware of the people who make the purchases and what their goals are.
According to a study conducted by Google and Millward Brown Digital, last year 46% of all B2B purchases are made by people aged between 18-34. When you consider the number two years prior when 27% of people aged 18-34 made the purchases you can see that demographics will play a key role in determining how you go to market with your B2b eCommerce tools. Demographics clearly have an impact in the B2c space, but many enterprise-focused manufacturers are finding that younger procurement staff are bringing fresh new ideas to the fore as they rise up the ranks within procurement teams.
It is essential that B2b companies are operating on the platforms and channels used by Millennials and have a thorough understanding of their behavior. This mean building a mobile first strategy in your B2b eCommerce platform is vital to long term success of any eCommerce strategy. Mobility can bring all the information needed directly to a buyers smartphone making the order entry process easy and ubiquitous.
Smartphone Mobile Order Entry Apps by Ai2
The rise of mobile ordering apps
Even though it has been occurring for five years or so in the B2c purchase process – B2b eCommerce platforms are behind when it comes to mobility.
Close to half of B2b customers use their smartphones during the purchase process in some way. Customers and purchase managers alike are increasingly making decisions on the go and their online search behavior as well as the way they view information follows this trend. Product research, prices and features are increasingly being done on mobile devices alongside contacting B2b merchants and even completing purchases and ordering costs. Purchase decisions are increasingly being made with the help of mobile search and as such, B2b merchants must act accordingly. At Ai2 we help modernize and optimize for this new mobile landscape by helping you see how your customers do. Consider these points:
- Is your website and content is optimized for a smaller mobile screen?
- Are you B2b eCommerce tools created with simplicity in mind?
- Does your mobile app work faster and better then any website to access information?
- Are you using buttons properly to derive a call-to-action on mobile devices?
- Are you using video effectively to get people to view your products?
These are just a few questions that can help optimize your mobile strategy and help you retain customer interest.
The risks of neglecting Artificial Intelligence
The expectations of procurement professionals is becoming higher and higher. It is no longer acceptable to simply provide a catalogue of products and services available on-line and leave clients to place orders. Procurement teams expect and demand personalization in their mobile ordering apps. They are in business and they rely on their merchant’s B2b eCommerce tools to show them products they need before they know they need them. Using past customer behavior to predict future products that could be of interest is no longer completely revolutionary – algorithms have been circulating achieving this for a long period of time. This process of improving the user experience must be forever refined and improved upon. As AI algorithms become more accurate and more customer data is available and stored, new ways to provide superior user experience are evolving.
Dynamic pricing is one way to provide superior user experience. Through increasingly complex data, B2b organizations are providing dynamic pricing to customers based on a range of factors including purchasing volume, the frequency of purchases, and long-term relationship value. In essence, they are able to calculate and extract the best price depending on the customer type.
Customer A purchasing 10,000 units on a monthly supply contract will usually expect a lower price and ordering cost than Customer B who may purchase 500 units as and when they feel like it. That’s obvious. However, what if customer B has the greatest growth potential and Customer A has already reached their apex? Would dynamic pricing entice growth of an account like Customer B’s? The answer is yes along with great relationship building by the sales rep. Dynamic pricing is one example of user experience being constantly refined by B2b eCommerce platforms and providers.
As the B2B eCommerce industry increasingly grows, it can be harder and harder to keep on top of trends often resulting in lost opportunities, poor brand image and wasted time efforts. Your strategy is can’t be one and done, it must be an evolving roadmap of features and functions that keep your mobile platform the preferred way of doing business.